Willie Roaf waited patiently in a hotel room for a phone call, it was a call he hoped would be from the Hall of Fame selection committee with news he had indeed made the cut and would be selected as a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Instead it was exactly the opposite and the call Roaf received was not one of congratulations but of apologies that he had been beaten out by seven other players deemed more worthy than he.
Defensive end Richard Dent, running back Marshall Faulk, linebacker Chris Hamburg, linebacker Les Richter, NFL Films Ed Sabol, corner back Deion Sanders and tight end Shannon Sharpe all beat out Roaf for a coveted spot in Canton.
All deserving of their selection — Faulk and Sanders arguably the greatest at their given positions, Sabol ushered in a new era and way for fans to see the NFL and Sharpe became the first true “route running” tight end — but Roaf was equally as deserving.
In an article written a few days ago about Roaf we examined why it seemed like he would be a slam-dunk to make the Hall of Fame after such an illustrious career, but now so more than ever it’s increasingly hard to make it unless your the absolute cream of the crop.